A committee of India's parliament voted to bring all drugs sold in the country under price controls determined by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing. The NPPA's reach currently is limited to 509 drugs on the nation's list of essential drugs.
In a report on its action, the committee on chemicals and fertilizers said it recommended passage by the full parliament because the drugs, particularly the life-saving ones, need to be available throughout the country. The panel said it determined that all drugs are essential, not just the 509.
The NPPA also allows drugmakers to hike their prices on those drugs each year at the rate of inflation, the latest being the 3.84% allowed as of April 1.
In addition to the price caps, the proposed legislation calls for establishing industrial parks where drug companies making active pharmaceutical ingredients could share the expense of a manufacturing infrastructure.
The panel said that would be one way the country could reduce its dependence on drug imports.